Shepperton 2019 Slalom competition

Another weekend of successes for Reading Canoe Club slalom team!

On 13-14th July, a number of our slalom paddlers travelled down to Shepperton Weir to take part in the annual slalom competition. For some of our paddlers this was their first ever competition and for many others it was the first opportunity to try moving water. Although managing a few swims early on, our junior paddlers fought really hard in their first runs to manage a Reading-dominated score board!

After quite a few of Liz’s bacon butties at lunch, our paddlers were powdered up and ready for second runs, and the results were amazing! After battling the course (and doing the gates in the right order) Peter Skinner bagged himself first place closely followed by Luke Hadley in second and Simon Gosciniak in sixth, both gaining a promotion to Division 3! Also in Division 4, Holly Williams flew around the course improving her previous time by 62 seconds putting her in fourth place and fastest in her age category. Racing for the girls in Division 3, Zoe Neville shot down the course gaining minimal penalties and a massive improvement of 65 seconds!

Over in the boys’ category, George Murphy, Tom Robson and Mark Gutteridge powered through the gates, taking home trophies for first by Tom and third by George. Mark made massive improvements on his time and performed two upright runs despite having a few wobbles earlier on.

On Sunday our paddlers produced equally amazing runs with Tom and George placed first and third once again, this time with Peter on their tails coming 13th in his first ever Division 3 race! Representing the girls, Erin Bonsall also competed in her first division 3 race managing 5th place and making vast improvements! For the Division 4 men, Simon Gosciniak showed his fearlessness speeding down the course and coming home with 3rd place!

Well done to everyone who competed this weekend, it was astonishing to have a Reading paddler in the top three in almost every category! I hope everyone enjoyed their time on the whitewater and are looking forward to more competitions soon.

By Emily Neville